I’ve always been an avid shopper – starting at the age of ten. My mom and sister and I would go to the big department stores in downtown Pittsburgh and split up and meet in a few hours. The stores were close together, but in between them, I discovered a used book store. What a treat! They had shelf after shelf of paperback books for an incredibly low price; the only catch was, for some reason they had to remove the book’s front cover. No big deal; the rest of the book was there!
Over the years, I’ve discovered yard sales and thrift stores — fabulous places to find bargains, in addition to great sales at discount and department stores. And I’m so grateful for all the wonderful, low-cost things I’ve found!
I’ll never forget some of the best bargains of my life – and what I paid for them:
1) A set of matching end tables for $2 each, bought from a yard sale and used in my living room during most of the years my son was growing up
2) A beautiful cherry wood octagonal end table – bought for $25 at a yard sale — which is still in my living room. My friend, who was with me when I bought it, was mortified. I had been laid off and told the seller about my plight, asking if he’d come down in price to $25. His advice to me was to get a job in a prison – which is where he worked – but I did walk away with the end table. (And MEK keeps asking me when I’m going to apply for a prison job…)
3) Numerous framed prints (see tips in my blog post on how you can save a ton of money on framed prints, too). Have never paid more than $15 each for any of them.
4) Jewelry – necklaces, bracelets and earrings. My favorite story about bargain jewelry is when my friend C and I went to a yard sale and I showed her this thick, gold necklace that I loved. Then she bought it! I was a little miffed because she’d never done anything like that before, but I found out why she did it on Christmas when I opened my present from her — and there it was.
6) A ton of some of my very favorite clothes and shoes. Need a separate blog post for those!
7) Wedding reception items. I planned and coordinated my son’s wedding and bought all the glassware for the reception at yard sales and thrift stores. Got boxes of bar quality drinking glasses, lots of beautiful glass serving dishes, vases, decorations and more. For details, see my ebook “How to Have a $30,000 Wedding for Less Than $10,000” on amazon.com.
8) Lawn equipment, including a $2 Scott spreader, a $10 machine that rolls across the lawn and picks up leaves in a canvas sack, an inexpensive blower, a couple edgers and a FREE push lawn mower.
10) Scrapbooking supplies. Have had the good fortune to go to yard sales of women who were getting out of the Creative Memories home consultant/party business and bought their remaining inventories for a song.
11) Piano sheet music. Got a big box full for $1.
12) Shower curtains. Bought at least three of them – one beige, one pink, one yellow – in perfect condition for $2 each, and later saw one just like the pink one in Target selling for $24.98 (see photo above).
14) Suitcases. Have bought several nothing-wrong-with-them rolling suitcases – all for less than $10 each.
16) A file cabinet in excellent condition for $15.
18) A sturdy TV stand ($15), about five bookcases and a couple wooden wardrobes (none for more than $10 each).
19) Books – hundred of them. At $1 for hardbacks and $.50 for paperbacks, that was a huge savings, since I’m an avid reader!
20) Porch furniture. Bought a white rattan chair ($10) and a brown rattan loveseat and table for $25.
As you see, there’s almost nothing you can’t get at a great price if you’re willing to get out there and look for treasures!
Related blog posts:
I Adore the Dollar Store